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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers gives thanks for ‘really special day’ as Hoops make it 63 unbeaten

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (SNS Group)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (SNS Group)

BRENDAN RODGERS watched his Celtic stars become legends – then gathered them in the dressing room to say thanks.

The Bhoys smashed their own century-old record of consecutive unbeaten games with a 4-0 thrashing of St Johnstone – their 63rd on the spin without defeat.

The legendary Willie Maley’s side were the previous holders, embarking on a 62-game run in 1915-17.

The significance of his side’s achievement was not lost on Rodgers – who only broke off from praising his players to reveal Leigh Griffiths will miss Scotland’s friendly with Holland next week.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, I just said: ‘Thank you,’ to the players,” he said.

“For everyone involved, Celtic supporters and all the staff, it was a really special day.

“We have broken a century-old British record that was held by Celtic – and that is no mean feat in modern sport.

“The players have had to face everything – going behind in games and playing in big semi-finals and finals.

“We have been tired in games, they have played on different surfaces.

“Everything has been thrown at them.

“But they have set a standard every day in training and taken that on to the pitch.

“It was a proud day for everyone at Celtic.”

He reckons the key to their achievement was focusing on each game in turn.

“Could I imagine us going 63 unbeaten games at the start? Not really,” he said.

“But it was something I never really thought about – it was always the next game. That’s my motto as football is a very difficult game to forecast.”

Rodgers also celebrated a personal milestone – clocking up his 400th game as a manager.

“Today was my 400th game as a manager and I’ve learned to just focus on my next game.

“That’s what we do. The players are in that mindset as well but you could never have said coming in here that we would do this.

“Going back to that team Willie Maley had, people of my age will be aware of guys like Patsy Gallacher.

“That was a great team with great players.

“For us to go beyond them and make it 63 is a special feeling.”

On Griffiths, who was not in Celtic’s matchday squad at McDiarmid Park, Rodgers revealed: “Leigh won’t be in the Scotland squad this week.

“He had a slight calf injury from our game during the week and had a scan. It’s not overly serious, but he’ll probably be a week to 10 days.”

Stoke City’s Darren Fletcher has also pulled out of Malky Mackay’s squad for the Dutch game.